In a video call yesterday, my cousin mentioned how I should live my life the way I want it because, after marriage, I will forget all about my career. Such is the way of a woman’s life. I paused. And I thought about it, and I realized that she is not wrong. Well, in a different sense, but somewhat similar. We see almost equal gender representation of fresh graduates in the workforce. But a few years in and the workplace has more men than women.
If I noticed this, companies would have too, and they have. Now, most companies have their Human Resources ask the female candidates about their marriage plans, and when do they plan to have kids. Some women find it offensive. Some companies even don’t hire women who show an inclination to get married in a year or so.
At a Google workshop regarding women empowerment, I heard an HR manager justify the reasoning. She said some times we hire fresh graduates who work with us for a year. We train them. They become our assets. And then, they get married. If they don’t resign then, they quit a year later when they decide to have kids. They leave to become housewives. All our investment in training them? Lost! We end up with more men than women.
In a way, that sounds a legit reason from the companies’ perspective. Why would a business invest in a potential lost cause? But ever wonder why most women who started with a passion for their career left their jobs so quickly? Where did their love go? What sniffed out the candle?
Could this be the reason?
I thought and thought about what could be the reason. I couldn’t figure out why. And then someone said to me, “Women are superheroes. They are the homemakers. They are the ones who ultimately take care of the kids. If they ‘choose’ to work, they still manage all their household responsibilities well. And that is what makes them great.”
It was this interaction that made me stop. I had my answer. This deeply embedded idea that women are superheroes. Since they are amazing, they will manage their ‘actual’ responsibility with their ‘hobby.’ Not just one or two, but the society as a whole insists in front of the women that ‘we understand being wife and mother is your main job.’
As a result, women take up the responsibility of both sectors. They juggle both their jobs. They look for companies that have the facilities of daycare. But most companies don’t provide them. So they look for maids. They worry about what must be going on at home because they are the manager of the household too. If they don’t worry about it, nobody else will either.
Time to Give Up
But a time comes when they give up. When they don’t get acknowledged for managing both, they give up. When they get tired, and they can’t say they are, they give up. And when they are fed up with the work politics or their boss, and instead of being heard, they are told, ‘it was their choice, to work,’ they give up.
They give up on what everyone kept insisting was their hobby. And they shift entirely to being a full-time housewife. Now, this is not to say that being a housewife is not good. All I mean is, it should be something the person chooses for themselves and not forced upon them. So next time, when you see a workplace with more men than women, just think about why that is so.
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